How to Screen Print

by Anthony Clark

Since the existence of men all over the world, their daily activities are characterized by the attendance of different exciting events. When you are invited or listed as a participant of an event, you need to appear in a nice garment that will make you look appreciated and lovely. Hence, you need to purchase a well-designed cloth or create an attractive design yourself. In times past, the process of creating a beautiful design of your choice on cloth was extremely challenging. However, technological inventions have made the job easier. With technological equipment, you can create elegant designs on your shirt and other fashion materials without any hassle.

As of today, one of the amazing techniques to beautify your shirt with a nice and attractive design is to screen print. The screen printing method is the fastest and easiest method through which you can create a professional and cheap design on your favorite T-shirt. The method has been in existence for a considerable period and is still effective. Despite its effectiveness and productivity in creating a fascinating design on garments, the screen printing method is considered challenging by people that do not know how to create designs with it. Therefore, it is important to educate you on the best methods to screen print through the use of different methods and materials on your shirt. With that said, today, I will be telling you how to screenprint on materials professionally.

What is Screen Printing?

What is Screen Printing?
What is Screen Printing?

Screen printing is the act of creating excellent designs in different kinds of apparel. The method has gained its widespread relevance and adopted by the vast majority of fashion experts and professionals. Screen printing is cheap and easy to carry out by any individual. You don't need to be a professional to learn how to screenprint professionally on cloth.

Screen Printing in History

Screen printing is an effective method to create a design in shirts. This act of creating designs started in ancient China between 960 to 1279 AD. When it was first practiced by the Chinese inhabitants, they used hair to make screens for their crude screen printing machine. The screen printing machines invented by the Chinese have now become the modern machines that are known to all screen printing professionals.

Different Screen Printing Techniques

1. Rotary Printing

The Rotary printing technique was facilitated by Michael Vasilantone in 1963. The method was termed as the genius way of scaling up your production level and speeding up the process of screen printing on garments. In this method, Michael Vasilantone took flat screens and placed the ink on them. Then he squeegees inside and wrapped the screen up in the form of a tube. Immediately it is attached to a screen printing machine, the speed of the web and roller are aligned to create a continuous process. With this method, the efficient rotary printing press was initiated.

2. Digital Hybrid

The digital hybrid technique is a combination of the two excellent and common fabric embellishment methods that are widely used today. This technique involves traditional digital printing and analog screen printing methods. The digital hybrid screen printing method combines automatic and CMYK digital enhancement methods during printing on cloth. Through this method, you can support different data options. It offers huge varieties of customization features to screen printing professionals.

3. Stenciling

Stenciling is an excellent screen printing method that has been used since its practice by the Chinese inhabitants. It involves the introduction of designs in attractive colors either by hand painting, photocopying, hand-drawn, or printed on a plain or transparent material. The screen printing is done with a material that hinders the penetration of ultraviolet light. You can use photo-reactive chemicals like sodium, potassium, or ammonium dichromate, or chromate. These photo-reactive chemicals were first used by the trio of Edward Owens, Roy Beck, and Charles Peter. With the photo-reactive chemicals, you can print on photo-realistic materials effortlessly.

How to Screen Print Professionally at Home

Screen printing has proven to be an excellent method to craft amazing designs on cloth. The machine used for screen printing has been improved to become the modern screen printing device that is widely known to its users. Hence, you can get quality and durable printing patterns on your garment without any hassle. You can also engage in mass production of cloth design using the screen printing method. Just as you can screen print in your company, you can also screen print in your home. Screen printing in your home does not limit your professionalism in the job. You can do it will a perfect touch of your amazing skills. To screen print professionally in your home, you can follow the steps below.

Create Your Image

Before screen printing on your favorite material, you need to create a perfect image of your choice. To do this, you should acquire skills in artwork or engage the service of a professional artist to help you out. When you create an awful design, it will reflect on your shirt by the time you screen print on it. Also, ensure your image comes with high resolution and high quality. Nowadays, the vast majority of screen printers accept an image of 300 DPI (Dots per Inch). The higher the resolution of your image, the more dots that are available per inch, and the more improved your image becomes. After creating high-resolution images, you can separate each color based on its individual layers, channels, and files.

Separation

This process is self-explanatory and easy to do. The step involves the removal of individual colors from cloth designs. For instance, if you have green and red text on your design, the color will be separated and printed on vellum, film, or any other cheaper alternative. However, the film is a widely used material because of its high-quality output. It also enables the screen to produce excellent lines and dots on your materials.

Expose Your Image on the Screen

When you prepare your screen for burning, you need to take them to your exposure unit. This unit is a box that has a light inside of it. The exposure unit comes it's a variety of capabilities and features. Hence, you can have an exposure unit based on how you have designed it. Now, place the film between the screen and the glass. When this is done, the light will shine up through the film, glass, and against the screen. If the light fails to shine on your screen, the emulsion on the print will wash out.

An emulsion is a photosensitive liquid that is applied to the screen before you proceed to the exposure process. You can apply the emulsion with a squeegee such that it will cover the major parts of the screen. When the emulsion you applied has dried up, you can store the screen in a dedicated darkroom for about 2 hours to prepare it for separation or burning.

Prepare the Screen for Printing

In this step, your screen is perfectly ready for printing. You can prepare them for printing by applying them in the right order in the settings of your printer. It is important to place your screen in the best order to enable the ink to spread evenly to the correct areas. Immediately you set up your screen on your press, you can register them by lining them up in order to get all the content printed. Ensure you carry out the registration process with utmost care because it determines the productivity of your design. Then apply the designated ink on each screen. You may add more than one squeegee and also measure or mix different inks together to obtain your favorite colors.

Perform the Printing

Now that you have prepared all the necessities to produce a quality print, you can start printing your garment or other items. If you have large materials to print, you can consider printing on them in an auto press. The use of auto press depends largely on the system you are using. A standard auto press is comparable to a carousel that can spin automatically and apply ink seamlessly. If you are doing a smaller run, you can employ the manual method. However, the same concept will still be used.

Pros and Cons of Screen Printing

The table below summarizes the pros and cons of screen printing

Pros Cons
It offers excellent efficiency and speed in printing. High cost of set up.
It produces vibrant designs. Color can overlap.
It facilitates the production of a great variety of designs.
It involves the use of quality colors.
You can handle bulk orders effectively.
It produces long-lasting designs.
The process is straightforward.

Conclusion

Screen printing is an amazing method of producing quality designs on cloth and other materials. With this method, you can produce attractive designs that are durable and can be used on different occasions. Today, I have discussed the steps you can take to carry out screen printing in your home in a professional way. These methods and safe, secure, and economical to practice. Happy reading!

About Anthony Clark

Anthony Clark has always had that wierd passion for digital drawing and printing since he was little. He would just wander around in his parents' house in Phoenix, Arizona; drawing various things with his older digital tablet. Be it just a memory collection or a portay of just about anything: object, parents, school, events, etc. He received his BA in Graphic Design at San Jose State Universiry at the heart of Silicon Valley. Now Mr. Clark is really excited to present his expeirence coupling with some colorful dips to help shape it the future of printing.

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